NYC Victory by Amazon Union certified by the Federal Labor Board

(Bloomberg) — A federal regulator has certified a union’s election victory last year at an Amazon.com Inc. facility in New York — a move the company intends to continue to fight.

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In Wednesday’s ruling, National Labor Relations Board regional director Cornele Overstreet dismissed a series of objections from the e-commerce company, which sought to overturn the Amazon Labor Union’s victory over a Staten site. Island last April.

The Amazon Labor Union took the surprise victory among about 8,000 workers at the JFK8 fulfillment center. Amazon had appealed the result, arguing that the labor board violated its rules in such a way that it implied government approval of the ALU.

Despite the union’s latest victory, the battle with Amazon is not over. The Seattle-based company can now appeal the decision to Labor board members in Washington, where Democrats hold a majority. If he loses that appeal, he could simply refuse to bargain with the union, triggering another round of complaints and appeals that could take months or years to unfold.

“We are thrilled at this time,” ALU Acting President Chris Smalls said Wednesday. “It’s very historic for the workers.”

The ALU leader urged Amazon to enter into negotiations with the union, as required by the regional manager’s order. “If it’s a good company and good faith, and they listen to their workers and their workers ask them to come to the table, then they should come to the table,” he said. “But that remains to be determined. Whatever move they make, we’ll have a counter move to make.

In a statement, Amazon announced its intention to appeal. “As we have said from the beginning, we do not believe this election process was fair, legitimate or representative of the majority of what our team wants,” the company said.

Even without a collective agreement, formal certification provides workers with protections such as the ability to bring a witness to meetings that could lead to disciplinary action and prevents the company from unilaterally changing working conditions, the attorney for the company said. the ALU, Seth Goldstein.

The Amazon Labor Union — a grassroots effort co-founded by fired worker Smalls — has lost momentum since Staten Island’s victory. The group was defeated in two subsequent elections by wide margins, one at a smaller facility across from the original warehouse and a second at a site outside Albany, New York.

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, meanwhile, is seeking to represent workers at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama. Federal officials determined that Amazon’s conduct in a vote there in 2021 made a fair election impossible, but a new election hinges on disputed ballots.

–With the help of Spencer Soper.

(Updates with Amazon’s comment in seventh paragraph.)

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